Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Friday, February 14, 2014
Corey Eckhart and Katherine Allen

Katherine Allen and Corey Eckhart, Palmerton

On Dec. 22, 2013 I went to a cookie swap that turned into a birthday party that turned into an engagement party.

The day started as a normal Saturday, he went into work while I spent the day at home making Christmas cookies. I was making the cookies for a party later that night at his Dad's house. His Dad decided since his birthday is right before Christmas, he would have a big cookie swap. Unfortunately, for me I spent the previous night celebrating my friend's 21st birthday, so I wasn't feeling the best.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kim and Russell Cox, Albrightsville

It was 1995. We were co-workers and friends first. Then one day Russell decided that we already had so much in common, why not date?

We began dating early in 1997. By the beginning of 1998, we had started to discuss marriage. We went together to pick out a ring, but the details of the proposal were top secret. Meanwhile, Russell was carefully planning the proposal.

Friday, February 14, 2014
Richard and Judy Walck

Richard and Judy Walck, Palmerton

Rich and I started going steady in seventh grade and all through high school. On New Year's Eve in 1961 into 1962, Rich asked my dad for my hand in marriage. He said Yes, so the next week we went to Young's Jewelry Store and picked out a few rings. But he said we won't get engaged until he had the ring paid for in full. So I didn't know when than would be.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kerri Manfredi and Mistie Geiger,


I proposed to my girlfriend at a Halloween Karaoke party at Hydro's bar in Nesquehoning.

I had it all planned with the owners of the bar and also with the DJ. Friends and family were also in on it.

The DJ and I had it planned that when he played two slow songs in a row I would bring my girlfriend up to dance. The first slow song was my clue to get ready and ask her to dance by the second song.

Friday, February 14, 2014
Tanya (Lilly) and Josh Rivera

Josh and Tanya (Lilly) Rivera, Summit Hill

I first met Josh at my church, Hope Community Fellowship in Weissport, during our annual Vacation Bible School. We quickly became an inseparable duo. Everyone bugged us about being an "official" couple. On Sept. 9, 2010 we hiked to the top of Glen Onoko Falls where he had a picnic basket and blanket already set up. He walked me over to the edge of the falls; when I looked down I saw the word OFFICIAL was spelled out in white rocks at the bottom. All our friends thought that was over the top … until he proposed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

It was love at first sight.

Or maybe it was the result of a deep, abiding friendship that developed over the course of several years.

Maybe it happened on the deck of a ship or the top of a mountain. Or maybe it was on a crowded dance floor or on a stage surrounded by a live studio audience.

Sometimes there was cake, or even cookies; often there was champagne.

There were old rings and new rings, and even new rings designed to look like old rings.

One thing they all had in common was romance.

Friday, February 14, 2014
Jarad and Robyn Goodwin

Robyn and Jarad Goodwin, Catasauqua

The day was March 17, 2012 and we were preparing to have our annual March celebration. Both of our birthdays are in March, our anniversary and of course St. Patrick's Day!

What I did not know was Jarad had a lot more planning to do this year!

The weather was beautiful for a March Saturday afternoon, high 70s and sunny!

We had some help from above from our loved ones that had recently passed away, my stepfather and Jarad's grandfather.

Thursday, February 13, 2014
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Maya Kowalcyk, the owner of Jim Thorpe Yoga, demonstrates the Cobbler's pose during a talk on yoga and mental health. The talk and yoga session were lead by Kowalcyk and members of Blue Mountain Health System.

Treating depression or anxiety isn't always about taking medication or seeing a therapist.

In some cases, taking care of your body can be just as important as addressing your mental health.

This was the message that Blue Mountain Health System and Jim Thorpe Yoga shared during a recent program on yoga and mental health at the Jim Thorpe Yoga studio on Center Street in Jim Thorpe.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
This Jan. 27, 2014 photo shows Beef Mole with a Buttery Baguette in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Like it or not, it's best to simply embrace that chocolate must play a key role in any Valentine's Day dinner.

But a chocolate tart or truffles or bonbons or even chocolate-dipped strawberries are so ... cliche. Maybe think a little outside the chocolate box this year.

Maybe slip the chocolate in as a savory component to a steak dinner so rich and so delicious, you'll be tempted to abandon silverware as you eat it.

And you can. Though mole dishes such as this beef version often are served over rice, I've instead paired it with a warmed, butter-drenched baguette.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
AP Photo/Matthew Mead Cocoa Butter-Date Polenta and Cocoa Coffee Flank Steak

A box of chocolates? A slice of chocolate cake? So very been-there-done-that.

This Valentine's Day, up the ante with your expression of love via chocolate. Rather than simply end the meal with a sweet hit of cocoa, why not use it as the inspiration for the entire menu?

Start with slices of soft goat cheese sprinkled with a blend of unsweetened cocoa powder and chili powder, then topped with a Peppadew pepper.